In any VoIP or unified communications (UC) deployment, such as Skype for Business and/or Microsoft Teams, call quality and voice monitoring is an essential part of user adoption across the enterprise. But what is “call quality”? In general, the quality of a call is based on the time it takes between dialing a number and hearing it ring on the other end (the call set-up) and the clarity of the conversation (i.e. how well both parties can hear each other). There are several factors that can impact call quality, including network jitter, packet loss, and latency.
VoIP systems such as Skype for Business and/or Teams rely on transmitting voice signals as data packets over an IP network. Network “jitter” occurs when there is variation in the time it takes for these packets to be received. Jitter can cause VoIP calls to break up. For its part, packet loss (which is not uncommon) refers to one or more data packets failing to reach their destination, and can occur for a variety of reasons, such as high-congestion on the network or buffer overflows, to name but two. Finally, latency, also known as “lag” is the time delay between the sending and receipt of a voice signal.
To ensure that the quality of calls made through Skype for Business and/or Teams are of the highest quality, it is of the utmost importance that an organization employ network monitoring solutions and engage in regular voice quality monitoring.
Basic network monitoring is generally non-intrusive (passive) and simply examines normal voice traffic as it traverses the network while protocol analytics evaluate jitter and latency directly from the packet stream.
IP networks were originally designed to transmit data not generally sensitive to time delays. However, converging telephony and IP networks must now ensure that they can provide the quality of service necessary for IP-based telephony. High-quality VoIP calls require a fast, highly-reliable IP network to deliver voice data packets in accordance with the minimum requirements for acceptable voice quality and end user satisfaction.
Unify Square equips IT teams with all the data necessary for delivering Skype for Business and/or operational excellence. Our PowerSuiteTM products include a Service Availability Monitoring solution as well as a Service Health solution to carefully monitor the overall UC health of the Skype for Business and/or Teams experience. Our Consulting Services deliver customized strategies for UC solutions and how best to determine your voice monitoring requirements. And, for organizations with limited IT bandwidth, our PowerAssuranceTM managed services can monitor the Skype for Business network.